A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In "Despite broken bondage . . .," in the old days a woman was only regarded as sacred if she what?

2. What is the meaning of "didactic" works?

3. Who was the great leader of Botswana that protected it's people?

4. What makes people suffer according to Bessie?

5. In "God and the underdog," what do the Ku Klux Klan members discover when they get to heaven?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Preface to witchcraft," Bessie states that while living in South Africa she lived with a shattering sense of anxiety. Do you think that some anxiety remained even after her move to Botswana? Do you feel a sense of this in her writings? Is the format of "A Woman Alone" a reflection of an anxious person? Does the constant "skipping around" from one to piece to another, one subject to another, speak of an anxious brain? Do you perceive a lack of finishing one thing before starting another? Or, do you think the format is intentional and simply reflects Bessie's individual style?

Essay Topic 2

While Bessie is a true supporter of the black Africans, she can also be highly critical of them. Their lack of initiative in trying to better their situation is a common frustration to Bessie. List three examples that illustrate Bessie's frustration with perceived "passivity" of other black Africans. Bessie admits that she prefers to be on the sidelines when writing. Do you think that it's fair for Bessie to judge others from the sidelines instead of getting actively involved herself?

Essay Topic 3

Bessie's friend, Snowball, had a difficult time living in District Six in Capetown. What was Snowball's general demeanor? Even though he was devoutly religious, what did he believe could live together in chaotic happiness? How was Snowball treated by the landlady and most of the community? Could they see beyond the fact that he had once been a professional thief and served jail time? Was this fair to him? What kind of humbling lesson did Snowball teach Bessie? What did she learn about herself and her attitude toward religion? Why did Bessie finally give up trying to protect Snowball? Do you think that Snowball left a lasting impression on Bessie?

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